Gillingham Ladies kick of the new FA Women’s Premier League season with an away trip to Luton Town Ladies on Sunday (August 21).

The Gills managed a second-placed finish behind Crystal Palace Ladies in the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One last season and, having had a few turbulent pre-seasons in recent summers, the club has used this year to put the Ladies club in a good stead to start the campaign and hunt for promotion this season.

Captain Lauren Williams was positive with how the season’s preparations were unfolding. “Pre-season has been going well so far, the girls have put in lots of hard work and every week we are getting minutes in the bank, and it’s really important to keep
pushing,” she said. “We are still waiting to have our full squad together, but the efforts at training have been very high.”

Manager Jack Wheeler has used the summer break to recruit new players and form a pre-season schedule that will ensure the Ladies side are prepared and ready to go in the season opener this weekend.

“We have had a positive pre- season,” he said. “I will be doing everything I can to make sure that we are fully prepared for the start of the season. All I want this season is for the girls to be successful both on and off the pitch.”

Having narrowly missed out on promotion back to the FA Women’s Premier League South last season, Gills Ladies again have the ambition to return to the highest league they can compete in outside of the FA Women’s Super League.

Captain Williams, who has been through the turbulent few pre-seasons the Ladies side have suffered in the last few years, was keen to play things down.

“We need to do one better this season, however at the moment we are just taking it one week at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves,” she added.

“It’s really important that we stay focused and concentrate on the game and the targets we set ourselves in each particular week.”

“We are very much looking forward to the start of the season and we want to start with a lot of purpose. The efforts we put in now will only help us drive forwards and push on and the girls are all very determined for the upcoming season. We know what our expectations are both on and off the pitch and I’m con dent with the group of girls we have we will be more than capable of making it a successful season.”

It’s a new season and there’s a new home ground for Gillingham Ladies, after five years at Chatham Town FC (including
the tremendous season in which the Gills finished second in the Premier League South). The club has secured a move to Corinthian Sports Club in Longfield, and this new home venue will be an exciting change for the club .

“We made Chatham an extremely hard place for teams to come to and we want our new home to be exactly like that as well,” said Williams.

“The pitch is looking in fantastic condition and I’m sure we will love playing on it week in, week out. We loved playing at home last season and we will be taking that into this season to ensure we make it dif cult for teams to come and beat us there!”

On the move to the new ground, Wheeler added: “For a number of years, Chatham Town FC has been a dif cult place for away teams to come to and get a result from us. We will look to have the same mentality coming into the season at our new home ground. It’s vitally important to have good home form.”

After starting the season away to Luton Ladies, a week later Milton Keynes Dons Ladies are the rst team to visit Gills’ new home ground (2pm kick-off). Come and #RoarUsOn – adult ticket prices are just £3, with under-16s going free. Season Tickets are still available for £25; follow us on Twitter for all the latest Ladies news – @GillsLadiesFC


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